Rye-Onion Rolls AND Slow-Cooker Corned Beef, Finished with a Mustard Glaze.

In true stereotypical fashion, I absolutely LOVE corned beef (and cabbage for that matter), but let’s face it, it’s not glamorous.  In fact, you could probably run over it with your car a few times and leave it in the yard for  a week, and it would still come out tasty.  
rye onionrolls
You simply have a lot of leeway with it, as far as cooking time, unlike a prime rib which could be ruined by 15″ too many in the oven.  Everyone seems to have their own favorite way to prepare it and I’ll share mine with you (bottom of post), but what I’m REALLY excited about is these rye-onion rolls to serve with it, or for sandwiches with the leftovers.  I was going to bake some straight-up seeded rye, but when I picked up the  bag of Hodgson’s Mill rye flour, there was a recipe for onion-rye dinner rolls.  I tweaked it some and included instructions to form knots, because the recipe said only “cut rope into 1 1/2 inch pieces and shape into buns.”  Hmmmmm, I guess you could do whatever you want with those pieces, but I’m giving you the knot-making method from The Breadbaker’s Apprentice, which forms a very appealing bun.  It’s easy!
As they were baking, the aroma emanating from kitchen was simply intoxicating.  After school, Audrey had one.  In-between bites, she was mumbling appreciatory adjectives, and then stated “OMG Mom, that was so amazing, I have to have another one!” 
Holders for corned beef, pastrami, ham or hamburgers, warm from the oven, or toasted with butter, these rolls may have bumped bagels from the top of my Toasted Treats list.  And as an added bonus, they are nutritious, the rye flour being whole grain, and just a touch of honey in the recipe.
And remember, from now until St. Patrick’s Day, simply comment on any post for an entry to win The Country Cooking of IRELAND!
Rye-Onion Rolls

1 cup milk
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
2 pkg active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
3 cups white flour
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
6 tablespoons minced onion
1 – 1 1/4 cups rye flour
1 egg
2 teaspoons water
1 tablespoon poppy seeds 

Scald milk; combine it in mixing bowl with honey, salt, and butter.  Stir well; cool to lukewarm.  Dissolve yeast in the lukewarm water; combine with milk mixture.  Add white flour and beat vigorously 1 minute.  Add caraway seeds, onion, and enough rye flour so dough is firm enough to knead.  Turn dough onto floured surface; knead 8 minutes.
Place in oiled bowl, turning once to coat evenly.  
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Cover and let rise in warm place until dough is doubled (one hour).
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Punch down dough, cut in half and roll each half by hand into a long rope about 1 1/2 inches think.
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Cut each rope into 6 3-inch pieces.
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Roll each piece into a rope about 12 inches long.
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Tie rope into a knot, leaving the ends hanging out a little.
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Tuck top end (on right in photo) underneath and bottom end (sticking out on left) over top and into hole in middle of roll.
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Place 2 inches apart on an oiled baking sheet (or on parchment paper).  Cover with towel and let rise until doubled.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Beat the egg with water and brush the tops of the buns.  Sprinkle with poppy seeds.  Bake 12-15 minutes or until nicely browned.  Yield: 12 rolls.

My Favorite Way to Cook Corned Beef:
In the slow-cooker all day, then finished in the oven with a glaze. The glaze recipe comes from my Sister-n-law, Joy Murphy.

3-4 lb. corned beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
a few peppercorns
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon mustard seed (or, if your corned beef comes with pickling spices, throw them in)
1 head cabbage, cut into 6 wedges.

Place corned beef in slow cooking pot.  Barely cover with water.  Add the rest of the ingredients, excluding cabbage.  Cover and cook on low 10-12 hours.  Turn to high for the last two hours, adding cabbage for the last half hour.  Remove corned beef and place on a baking sheet.  Leave cabbage in slow cooker, covered, while you glaze the corned beef.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a small saucepan, mix together:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup mustard
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Heat on medium-high until sugar melts.  Remove from heat.  Pour glaze over corned beef and use a brush to cover all surfaces.  Bake 30 minutes, brushing with glaze occasionally.
Serves 4.  Serve with rye-onion rolls, cabbage wedges and boiling potatoes (cooked separately).
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